ERIC Number: ED212335
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
A Writing Course for Elders: Outreach, Growth, Synthesis.
Staples, Katherine E.
This paper presents a personal approach to the special pedagogical requirements of teaching writing courses for elders and specifically examines courses in poetry writing, expository prose, and prose fiction, taught to persons over 55 under the auspices of the Institute of Lifetime Learning, a nonprofit, self-supporting institution associated with Austin Community College. First, the instructor's assumptions about teaching courses for elder students and the attitudes of elder students are discussed. Next, the initial problems arising from the different goals and interests of the students in the poetry writing course are outlined. Then, problems of course structure, student sensitivity about their work, and the students' lack of acquaintance with each other are detailed together with the instructor's solutions. Next, the reasons for the failure of a course in autobiography taught outside the normal institutional setting are explored. The process of obtaining a grant for the publication of student memoirs and poetry and the students' involvement in the project is outlined. Finally, the conclusions reached about teaching courses to elders, i.e., that the process does not differ greatly from teaching younger students except that the former have more years, more memories, and some diminution of physical abilities, are discussed and the particular rewards of teaching elder students indicated. (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Community College Humanities Association Conference (Farmer's Branch, TX, October 1981).